Feeds

ERG offers alternative to European mobile roaming price cap

Calls for wholesale regulation

The Power of One Infographic

European telecommunications regulators have written to the European Commission trying to block its planned legislation on mobile roaming charges, which have skyrocketed out of control in Europe.

The European Regulators Group (ERG), a body composed of the European Union's telecoms regulators, agree regulation is necessary but want to see it focused just on wholesale charges. In other words, if it can regulate what one operator charges another, then it just assumes that all or most of that benefit will be passed on to the customer. Some chance.

European cellcos are in a fight to raise, or in some cases sustain, ARPU - and given the amount of business travel that goes on around the 25 countries in the European Union, it relies on artificially, and sometimes disguised roaming charges. Sometimes roaming charges are higher than the actual call charges by an order of magnitude.

Also, larger cellcos use their wholesale rates to bully smaller operators and take away some of their call revenue.

The ERG says retail regulation often has unexpected consequences and is inconsistent with the general approach taken to regulation within the EU.

In other words it wants to stop one cellco bullying a smaller cellco, but doesn't care how much relief the eventual customer receives.

The ERG is asking for a brief moratorium, calling for wholesale regulation and a time period for it to work before imposing retail price restrictions.

Specifically, it wants a single European-wide price cap on wholesale roaming charges set at about €0.30 ($0.38), as opposed to the current average level of about €0.75 ($0.96) and to set up and maintain an up-to-date index of retail international roaming charges.

European regulators may be acting as a mediator in this dispute and probably have significant clout in the discussion. We would expect some behind the scenes discussion with the commission before a final change is worked out.

Copyright © 2006, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.